Hairy Situation to be Part of Relay for Life Friday Night

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Published on July 18 2012 11:09 am
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

If you ask Becky or Nicole Kinman what hair has to do with fighting cancer they can tell you about all kinds of ways it makes a difference. They’re the duo behind organizing “A Tangled Tale,” a new addition and part of the Fight Back Rally at this year’s American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Effingham County that is being held July 20 at Teutopolis Jr. High School in Teutopolis.

“A Tangled Tale is part of the Fight Back Ceremony, which is held to inspire and encourage all of us to take an active role in fighting back again cancer year round,” explained Becky, who is also the Entertainment Chair for the event. “We are collecting pony-tails, eight inches of hair or longer, that will be donated to Pantene Beautiful Lengths to create wigs that are distributed by the American Cancer Society to cancer patients for free. We hope to have enough hair to go all the way around the track.”

Providing free wigs to cancer patients is just one of the ways Relay For Life of Effingham County makes a difference for area cancer patients.

“We are collecting ponytails, but this event is also about cancer awareness and the help that’s available when you call the American Cancer Society,” emphasized Nicole. “It’s so important that cancer patients know there is help and that they are not alone. Your hair and the money you donate to Relay For Life makes a difference.”

So far, they have collected at least 25 feet of hair. Carleen Mehesan Damarin helped at the Survivor Dinner and is on board to help them reach their goal. She’s excited about Relay For Life Friday night and being a part of the Tangled Tale event.

“Everyone knows someone touched by cancer. This is the fifth time I’ve participated in something like this,” said Damarin. “You need at least eight inches. It takes about four to five years for my hair to grow out, but I get a new look and it’s for a great cause. In the past, I’ve done it on my own. It’s going to be so much fun being part of a group, doing this together.”

Event co-chairs Jan Pike and Cheryl Boone will be shaving their heads – for a price.

“Cheryl and I will be cutting our hair and maybe even shaving our heads if the price is right,” said Pike. “I’m a survivor and lost my hair before. I will happily sit under the clippers because this time going bald will benefit others battling this awful disease.”

Help is available 24/7 at the American Cancer Society hotline at 1-800-227-2345, Illinoiscancerhelp.org or cancer.org. Patient Services Coordinator Pam Barak and Senior Patient Services Representative Lawrence Underwood are also available at 356-9076 to help provide area patients with information, day-to-day help and emotional support that includes information regarding cancer questions, treatment options and clinical trials; providing Look Good…Feel Better sessions for women at St. Anthony’s Women’s Center, help with transportation to treatment appointments, reduced rate or free lodging, free wigs and prosthesis, and support networks linking newly diagnosed patients with cancer survivors.

 If you are ready to lop your locks, contact Becky Kinman at 821-5487 (becky_kinman@yahoo.com) or Nicole Kinman at 663-8724 (Nicole_kinman@yahoo.com). The first 29 participants to sign up will receive a free “A Tangled Tale” t-shirt. T-shirts will also be available for $8.00 each. If you don’t have the hair but still want to help, donations will be accepted. 

The overnight, family-focused American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Effingham County is July 20 and 21 at Teutopolis Jr. High School, 904 W. Water Street, in Teutopolis. Survivors are also encouraged to participate in the Survivor Lap, a highlight of the Opening Ceremony, which kicks off an evening filled with hope, celebration and fighting back. Teams and individuals raise money, before and during the event, to help support programs for cancer patients and their families, education outreach, advocacy, and life-saving cancer research.       

American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Effingham County organizers hope to raise $135,000 at this year’s event. For more information, contact the American Cancer Society at 217-356-9076 or visit relayforlife.org/effinghamil.